Today is not Mental Health Awareness Day, and I’m a therapist, so this is foremost in my mind much of the time, but I’d like to remind everyone to not ignore your mental health! It is easy for us to try and “buck up” or convince ourselves that we will be fine when we are feeling down or worried. However, if your thoughts about depression, anxiety or some other mental health issue are persistent for long enough, you owe it to yourself to look into getting some help. It is not OK to just continue life as if nothing is wrong, and to suffer in silence. There is help to be had, and the important thing to remember is that therapy, counseling, etc. really can help. I’ve had many clients who tell me after an initial session how much better they feel and how they wish they hadn’t waited so long to talk to someone.
Here’s another reason to look into seeking help – when we let our stress and concerns go for long enough, the distress will eventually win the battle and cause some kind of discomfort in our lives. You might see that come out in more conflict within your family or at your job, but it might be so bad as to start affecting your health. You know when you are suffering, you just have to pay attention to your mental and emotional state and take action.
This is, of course, the hard part – taking action. I know, it’s a pain to find a therapist, let alone make enough time to get to an appointment. But that initial “blind date”, if you do your research right, has a good chance of paying off in the positive. Yes, the idea of therapy is to help foster change, but a good therapist will also help you see your life in new and different ways.
Here are a couple of ideas of things that you can do before you can get in to see your therapist:
Practice self discipline – no matter how much of a go getter one might be, it is sometimes easy to slip up and let laziness take over. However, when you practice self discipline, you will see results in the areas of better self esteem and life satisfaction.
Invest in Intellectual Sweets – reward yourself with mental stimulation; join a book club, travel somewhere new, go to your local museum. These can be easily accomplished and will help you feel better about life and yourself.